New South Wales health authorities say there are signs Covid case numbers are stabilising in the areas worst-hit by the outbreak, but there is growing concern about increasing spread in inner-city suburbs including Redfern.
The state reported 1,262 new locally acquired cases of Covid on Sunday and seven deaths, including a man in his 20s.
Victoria recorded 392 new local Covid cases as the premier, Daniel Andrews, announced plans to establish 100 pop-up vaccination hubs in 100 “priority postcodes”.
The NSW premier, Gladys Berejiklian, said there had been some stabilisation of case numbers in the local government areas of concern but the virus was “picking up pace” in certain suburbs.
“We can’t afford to let our guard down,” Berejiklian told reporters at the last press conference of its kind on Sunday.
The daily 11am updates will from Monday be replaced by a video from NSW Health to communicate the new case numbers and concerns of the day.
The seven deaths reported in the 24 hours to 8pm on Saturday include a man in his 20s from western Sydney and six people from south-western Sydney in their 40s, 50s, 70s and 80s.
The chief health officer, Kerry Chant, said the man in his 20s was unvaccinated and had significant underlying health conditions.
“When we talk about the fact that people are dying whether they are vaccinated or have underlying health conditions, it really is to highlight the fact that there are still many people in the community who are elderly and not vaccinated, who have underlying health conditions,” Chant said.
“However, I just want to make the point, that while you are likely to have more severe Covid if you are older and have underlying health conditions, even previously healthy people of all ages can get severe disease and die.”
There are 1,206 Covid patients in NSW in hospital, with 220 in intensive care and 92 ventilated.
Cases are expected to peak in the next week, putting significant strain on hospitals and ambulances.
By midnight on Friday, 78% of the over-16 population in NSW had received a first dose of Covid vaccine and 45.6% were fully vaccinated.
In Victoria, Andrews detailed plans to ramp up vaccination in 100 priority areas.
“Postcodes where there are case numbers, postcodes where there are perhaps not enough people through the vaccination program,” he told reporters.
“This will be done in stages. The first of those are five community-based pop-ups.
“They will be in areas that need the most. So in the outbreak areas where cases are potentially growing in Hume, Dandenong and Casey.”
The first of the pop-up hubs will open within days and demand will determine how long they remain before moving on.
The initiative has been incorporated into the state government’s push to get all 12-year-old and up students vaccinated by the end of the school year.
Some 70 schools will become pop-up sites, with the first eight in Dandenong, Point Cook, Werribee, Gladstone Park, Caroline Springs, Brunswick and Tarneit.
“These pop-ups are all about removing another barrier, taking the vaccination program to you,” Andrews said.
“You can come and be part of that, get your first and second dose, play your part, get the lockdowns off and protect yourself against becoming seriously ill.”
Of the 392 new cases announced on Sunday, 255 were from the city’s north and another 89 came from the western suburbs.
Another five infections were detected in regional Victoria, including one in Greater Geelong, one in Mildura, two in Gippsland and one related to the regional train service V/Line.
All V/Line train services were suspended on Sunday after more than 180 drivers and operational staff were placed in isolation following four positive coronavirus tests among workers.
“Out of an abundance of caution we are suspending all trains on Sunday to limit the spread and to keep everyone safe,” the Department of Transport said in a statement.
The health department on Sunday confirmed 107 cases were linked to known outbreaks, with the source of the still 285 under investigation.
It brings the total number of active cases in the state to 3,112, with all but four locally acquired.
Andrews said 85% of active cases were under the age of 50.
“This is not just something for the frail aged,” he said. “That is the nature of a pandemic of the unvaccinated. That group is still too big for us to be able to open up.”
The state has 147 people in hospital with Covid, up four from Saturday, with 34 of those people in intensive care units and 28 of them on a ventilator.
Of the cases in hospital, only one was fully vaccinated and isn’t believed to be on a ventilator.
In the 24 hours to Sunday morning, 48,063 tests were processed and 36,534 Victorians received a vaccine dose at a state-run hub.
The ACT recorded 15 new Covid cases, with nine of the patients in the community when infectious, while Queensland recorded no new cases.